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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 03.12.2020, 22:27

30 trafficking victims registered in Latvia in 2012

BC, Riga, 04.02.2013.Print version
30 trafficking victims were recorded in Latvia in 2012 – five males and 25 women, according to data compiled by the "Shelter "Safe House"" Society, reports LETA.

According to the society's data, 16 trafficking victims were involved in sham marriages, seven were victims of forced labor, and another seven of sexual exploitation.


A total of 106 people turned to the society last year on the telephone, by e-mail or in person.


Society's participation in the fight against human trafficking increased significantly last year, notes "Shelter "Safe House"" head Sandra Zalcmane. In the past, human trafficking cases were mostly reported by Latvian embassies abroad or the Latvian police.


According to Zalcmane, most human trafficking reports were submitted by residents of Riga, Rezekne, Liepaja, Daugavpils and Valmiera – which are the cities where preventive campaign "Sold Freedom" was taking place from August 2012 to February this year. "Compared to past years, people are now better informed about the various types of human trafficking, they can recognize them and are more active in reporting about those who need help," says Zalcmane.


Vija Busa, counselor at the Latvian Embassy in Ireland, also believes that the campaigns' effect on the prevention of human trafficking is obvious. "However, the preventive work in Latvia is still insufficient – the embassy's experience shows that the potential victims often cannot make an informed choice, which may result in human trafficking and involvement in sham marriages," emphasizes Busa.


Busa hopes that the preventive activities in Latvia will continue and that increasingly more people will be aware of the problem of human trafficking and the effect thereof.

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